Doug and the Slugs and Me | ALFF

Available Light Film Festival Announces 2023 Award Winners

Doug and the Slugs and Me, Navalny, and Pleistocene Park are audience favourites

4 mins read

Music docs got audiences at the Available Light Film Festival to their feet as the Whitehorse festival announced the winners today for the Made in the North Awards and Audience Awards. Doug and the Slugs and Me won the Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary. Directed by Teresa Alfeld, the film is a fun portrait of the Canadian rock band Doug and the Slugs, and the filmmaker’s personal connection to the group’s late frontman Doug Bennett and his daughter, Alfeld’s childhood friend. The Tanya Tagaq doc Ever Deadly, meanwhile, scored a special mention for Best Canadian Feature Film. Directed by Tagaq and Chelsea McMullan, Ever Deadly is a concert doc hybrid that crosscuts Tagaq’s iconic throat singing with the lived experience that fuels it.

On the shorts front, the documentary Imalijirit, directed by Tim Anaviapik Soucie and Vincent L’Hèrault, won the award for Best Northern Short Film. The award carries a cash prize of $3,000. Imalijirit observes a young father in Pond Inlet, Nunavut as he continues his grandfather’s research studying water quality in the community.

Two docs tied for the Audience Award for Best International Film. Navalny, directed by Toronto native Daniel Roher, shared the honour with the offbeat environmental film Pleistocene Park, directed by Luke Griswold-Tergis. Roher’s Navalny is an Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Feature and is gaining much attention from pundits who think who could upset presumed frontrunner Laura Poitras. Navalny and Pleistocene Park topped the overall list of audience favourites.

ALFF released the top 15 films among the Audience Award rankings. Other docs in the rankings included Whetu Marama – Bright Star, Framing Agnes, Eternal Spring, Voices Across the Water, Revival69, The Ballad of Caveman Bill, and The Empress of Vancouver.


The full list of 2023 Available Light Film Festival winners is as follows:



Best Canadian Feature Film – Prize: $5,000 

Winner: ROSIE, dir. Gail Maurice

Special Mention: Ever Deadly, dir. Chelsea McMullen and Tanya Tagaq


Best Canadian Short Film – Prize: $3,000 

Winner: Scaring Women at Night, dir. Karimah Zakia Issa


Best Northern Short Film – Prize: $3,000 

Winner: Imalijirit, dir. Tim Anaviapik Soucie and Vincent L’Hèrault



Best Canadian Documentary

Winner: Doug and the Slugs and Me, dir. Teresa Alfeld


Best Canadian Feature – Fiction

Winner: Bones of Crows, dir. Marie Clements


Best International Film

Winners (tie): Pleistocene Park, dir. Luke Griswold-Tergis & Navalny, dir. Daniel Roher



  1. Navalny (tied) 
  2. Pleistocene Park (tied) 
  3. Bones of Crows 
  4. Living 
  5. Doug and the Slugs and Me 
  6. Whetu Marama – Bright Star 
  7. Framing Agnes 
  8. Smoking Causes Coughing 
  9. Eternal Spring 
  10. Voices Across the Water 
  11. Klondike 
  12. Revival69 
  13. ROSIE
  14. The Ballad of Caveman Bill 
  15. I Like Movies (tied) 
  16. The Empress of Vancouver (tied) 
  17. Brother



Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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